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"Trio is hot to trot"

The phrase triple-threat takes on a whole new meaning when applied to the band Searson, three Ottawa Valley step dancing and singing sisters who also play a variety of instruments.

With Erin on piano, Heather on fiddle and Colleen on bass, Searson takes to the mainstage during the Kickoff Celtic Kitchen Party Friday at 8 p.m. at the Ramada, the first event of the much-anticipated Coldsnap Music Festival that goes until Jan. 28.

"The show is going to be high energy, there's going to lots of fiddle tunes, vocals and a lot of numbers people can get out of their chairs and dance to if they want to," said Colleen Searson, during a call from sunny Florida where the trio is on tour. "We'll also perform the Ottawa Valley step dancing, which everyone seems to love."

While on tour, Colleen said, Searson finds more and more people who recognize the Ottawa Valley style of step dancing.

To fill out the sound, Colleen said, the sisters are lucky enough to have Danno O'Shea drummer, percussionist from Niagara-on-the-Lake accompany the trio.

During the show, Searson showcases new work from their sixth album Fade and Shine, which is two albums in one with 16 tracks on it.

"We're really lucky that we have such wonderful fans that are always craving more of our music and always demanding more of us so we said let's do it all," said Colleen. "So there's 11 vocal tracks and five instrumental tracks and I think two of the instrumental tracks are about eight minutes long so there's lots of music on this album."

In 2011, Searson toured throughout Canada, the U.S., Ireland, Germany, Denmark and headlined one of the largest music festivals in Europe at Festival Ortiguiera, Spain.

Colleen said the trio have been hoping with anticipation that The Coldsnap Festival would eventually fit with their touring schedule.

"We're really excited about it and we love playing in Canada," said Colleen. "Canada always has the best audiences in our opinion. They're just uninhibited and not afraid to show their love for the music."

Tickets are $30 each and available at Books & Co., 1685 Third Avenue or Studio 2880, 2880-15th Ave. or by calling 250-563-2880.

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"Celtic rock sister act Searson returns"

They are three sisters from the Ottawa Valley in Ontario, Canada, who perform a brand of Celtic rock that has won them international acclaim, and they are regulars at the Nine Irish Brothers pubs in Lafayette-West Lafayette.

They are Searson, and they are touring on their sixth — and perhaps strongest album — “Fade & Shine.”

With Colleen on fiddle, Heather on bass, and Erin on piano and lead vocals, the Searson sisters expand their sound on “Fade & Shine.” Colleen’s fiddle is layered into a string section in the opening track, “Pursued,” and it gets some effects in “Long Winter.” Erin utilizes numerous keyboard sounds to help beef up her energetic piano style.

Searson will perform tracks off the new album at 8 p.m. Wednesday at the West Lafayette Nine Irish Brothers, 119 Howard Ave., and the band will play again at 8 p.m. Thursday at Nine Irish Brothers East, 3520 E. Indiana 38.

Most tracks on “Fade & Shine” are vocal tunes, but there are a few fiddle-driven instrumentals in the mix.

The best track on the new record is “Music Man.” Cleverly titled, the lyrics drip with attitude and defiance. You can hear the years of frustration melt away as Erin Searson belts verses about “backhanded compliments” for playing well “for a girl in a music world.” You can picture drunk fans at a pub or male musicians sharing a bill with Searson talking about how well the sisters play for a band fronted by women. Perhaps they mean well, but they are digging themselves deeper and deeper in their ignorance hole.

Through recording and touring Canada, America and Ireland, these music women have earned their stripes and have the musical chops to hang with anyone — male or female. -

"Champion step dancers and Celtic rock band Searson to perform"

CARTHAGE — New England Celtic Arts will host Canada's high-energy Celtic band Searson at Skye Theatre Performing Arts Center on Wednesday, Sept. 19.

The three sisters — Erin, Heather and Colleen Searson, who play a variety of instruments and are expert step dancers — will also perform Thursday, Sept. 20, at Unity College's Center for the Performing Arts in Unity.

The siblings play piano, organ, fiddle, tenor guitar and bass. Acclaimed drummer Danno O'Shea provides an energetic complement.

Searson offers a mix of Celtic and pop music while effortlessly incorporating Ottawa Valley-style fiddling into their performances.

Last year, Searson toured throughout Canada, the United States, Ireland, Germany and Denmark; and headlined one of the largest music festivals in Europe at Festival Ortiguiera in Spain.

Searson's Castle Tour of Ireland in October has sold out, prompting the group to schedule a second one.

The sisters grew up in Ontario's Ottawa Valley. Since age 4, Erin has been classically trained in piano through the Royal Conservatory of Music. Colleen has studied violin and fiddle styles from around the world since age 9; and Heather has studied with veteran bass instructors since age 11. They each began step dance lessons at an young age and competed at fiddle and step dance competitions throughout their elementary and high-school years.

Searson has recorded six albums, with its most recent, "Fade and Shine," released in January, featuring 16 vocal and instrumental tracks. Other albums, including "A Different Kind of Light" (2008) and "Ignite" (2009), were written entirely by the sisters.

The concert will begin at 7 p.m. at Skye and 7:30 p.m. at UCCPA . Tickets are $15 at the door. Skye Theater is at 2 Highland Drive off Winter Hill Road and U.S. Route 2. UCCPA is at 42 Depot St., Unity. For reservations, call Skye at 562-4445 or UCCPA at 948-7469.
- Encore Sun Journal

"Searson Profile"

Searson is Erin, Heather and Colleen Searson, three multi-talented sisters that play a variety of instruments and are all expert step dancers. The band incorporates a mix of Celtic, Pop, and Ottawa Valley style fiddling into both their recordings and live shows. Recently Erin spoke with Celtic Life International about the trio’s past, present and future.

What is the group’s ethnicity/heritage?
We were all born and grew up in the Ottawa Valley, Ontario, Canada. We have been lucky to have been immersed in French and Irish culture. We are the 6th generation to live on the original family farm that our ancestors from Ireland immigrated to. Our Father’s side of the family comes from Ireland, and our Mother’s family came from Saskatchewan. The Ottawa Valley is rich with fiddling and step dancing and is an integral part of our community, our culture.

What inspired you to put the band together?
It is a process that occurred gradually. We were always heading out to a house party, or we would head to our grandparent’s house and there would be someone there with a fiddle or guitar. We had been competing in step-dancing and fiddling competitions across Ontario for years. We studied all kinds of music, practiced all the time and eventually people began hiring us to perform at different events. After literally doing hundreds of volunteer performances locally at community events, we started to get offers to perform for a fee. Each show seemed to lead to another show. We never made the conscious decision to be a band until years later while we were all in university. We all loved playing music and thought we would make a go of it as a career.

Are they the same reason you do it today?
Our love of music and performing grew as we did. I couldn’t imagine doing anything different.

What are the challenges of the gig?
We are so grateful for the invention of the GPS! The challenges seem to be everything before and after the live performance. The tour bookings, planning and managing, the travel, the long days/nights, hauling gear and the exhaustion of touring, just to name a few!

What are the rewards?
One of the best rewards is right after we have performed a gig and having someone come up to tell us that we are the reason they started playing an instrument. That, or when someone says that they can see how much we love playing. It’s very satisfying to get that across to the audience. Thirdly, we have been able to travel to many wonderful locations around the world. We have shared and seen things I don’t think we would have experienced if not for this job. We have met many beautiful people in our travels and experienced so many different ways of living.

How would you describe your sound & style?
It’s hard to pinpoint and put a label to the combination of all our music but the best description we’ve been given is ‘Canadian Celtic Pop’. We’re energetic and aggressive and at the same time feel very soulful about the music we write, record and perform.

What makes a good song?
A catchy melody. If you find yourself humming a tune that we rehearsed earlier in the day, that’s a good sign. To me a great song is one that you can remember after hearing it for the first time.

What have been some career highlights?
All of the traveling across the world is a pretty big highlight! Performing in Europe for the first time. It felt like a huge accomplishment getting the band across the water. Secondly, there are also places we have played in Northern Canada that we feel very honoured to have experienced, Canada is beautiful! Thirdly, the mountains in Montana always have a place in our hearts.

What can audiences expect at a live show?
Lots of energy and original songs and fiddle tunes mixed with some great traditional fiddle music as well. People are always jumping out of their seats to dance and experience the joy of music. We love that!

What’s next on the band’s agenda?
We have a bucket list of places we would still like to perform and we are working towards these goals. We are also brainstorming and getting close to initiating where our next bus tour with our fans will be in 2013! This past fall we brought 130 people with us on two different Castle Tours of Ireland and it was a really fun way to perform for our fans and get to spend time with them. We are always writing music and looking towards the next album that we will record as well.
- Celtic Life Magazine


Fade and Shine (2012)
Ignite (2009)
A Different Kind of Light (2008)
Searson Live (2005)
Follow (2004)
House Party (2002)
Searson Family (1995)



Searson is Erin and Colleen Searson, multi-talented sisters that play a variety of instruments and are all expert step dancers. Piano, organ, fiddle, tenor guitar, bass and drums are all highlighted in their live performances. Talented and seasoned musicians, Jen Benton and Danno O'Shea complete these energetic live performances. SEARSON have garnered much critical acclaim from musicians and audiences alike. SEARSON incorporates a mix of Celtic and Pop while effortlessly incorporating Ottawa Valley style fiddling into their live shows.

SEARSON has toured throughout Canada, the U.S., Ireland, Germany, Denmark, Spain and Switzerland. In October 2012, Searson brought 140 fans with them for a two consecutive Castle Tours of Ireland.

SEARSON has toured throughout Canada, the U.S., Ireland, Germany, Denmark, Spain and Switzerland. In October 2012, Searson brought 140 fans with them for a two consecutive Castle Tours of Ireland.
Growing up in the Ottawa Valley, ON, Canada, Erin and Colleen began performing for audiences at a young age. Each sister was filled with an appreciation for music at an early age. Since the age of 4, Erin has been classically trained through the Royal Conservatory of music in piano. Colleen has been studying violin and fiddle methods from all styles around the world since age 9. The sisters began step dance lessons at a very young age and competed at Fiddle and Step Dance Competitions throughout their elementary and high school years.
Searson began performing while in elementary school and eventually turned their love of music in to a full time career for the past 8 years.

"In 2009, when SEARSON rocked the Folk-im-Schlosshof festival for the first time, we were blown away by their energetic performance. With a unique and sympathetic way of "living" their music, SEARSON have won our audience’s hearts and in 2011 we invited the three girls to come to Germany once again. Thank you folks for a fantastic show – we have enjoyed every nuance of SEARSON."
~ Franz Koroknay, AD Folk-im-Schlosshof, Bonfeld, Germany 2011

"Thanks so much for kicking off our festival in such spectacular fashion, and providing folks with a reason to dance and celebrate the winter season. AND the dancing workshop got some closet stepdancers out that are likely still practicing for the next time you come to town. Your fantastic performances and warm personalities set the stage for a wonderful week of music and comraderie that will keep us going until next year!"
~ Sue Judge, AD Coldsnap Festival 2012, Prince George, BC

“Searson is an amazing live show, from their high energy, foot-stomping, driving music to their extraordinary step dancing. The audience was mesmerized! A pure joy to watch!”
~ Greg Ziesemer, Event Coordinator, RiverRoots Music and Folk Arts Festival 2012